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Anna Yin – Winter Solstice

Yin profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume One, December 2020.

Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and Ontario representative to the League of Canadian Poets (2013-2016). She has authored five collections of poetry. Her poems/translations have appeared at ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, World Journal etc.  Anna won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, two MARTYs, two scholarships from West Chester University Poetry Conference, three grants from OAC and 2013 Professional Achievement Award from CPAC. She performed her poetry on Parliament Hill and has been featured at 2015 Austin International Poetry Festival and 2017 National poetry month project etc. She also teaches Poetry Alive workshops at schools, colleges and libraries.  Her website: annapoetry.com


Winter Solstice

after Plato

It is possible we met in another life
under the cold solstice moon,
and danced and danced madly…

It is possible we were too close to keep warm
to recall faces and the land of promise…

What has left since?
A dream haunts me…
my garden flowering with you
in every spring.

I never doubt all the possibilities,
the life before, the life after,
our wings joined together.

A path, my feet hesitant to follow it,
my eyes closed in…
leaves marks in these poems,
cold, outside,
hot, inside.

Hill Song

a found poem after Jeff Hardin

“Mystery, you will find”
you muse,
“somewhere in its resonance” …

Handing me your signed book,
you point at your own handwriting:
“as time goes headlong
filling itself…”

So here I am, listening to
the hill song- the rain fills itself…
on my fingers
each drops a note,
a sound of awakening-
O rain rained down to drench this song I am…

Perhaps each comes inborn:
home is nowhere anyway but where
I stand receiving what is offered me
this drop of life,
this reflection of moment,
O rain rained down to drench this song I am…
I found the way
back down
the hill and home.


Beginning of Autumn

The day was just breaking, no birds’ songs
I fell asleep again
from one dream to another
The wheels of my heart passed over
the flowing seasons
all in silence.

No sound in the dream too
Grey and white like a fog
through the window
through the house
across the road and the wild meadows
Yet hope remains in my heart
for eternity.

On Translation

Sometimes it’s a maze
I fall into.
I call for light, for a guide,
struggle to find my way…
finally, out of it,
I am not myself.

Sometimes it’s a lake,
clear to see.
I swim across it with ease.
Looking back,
I find my own mark left behind.

Sometimes it’s a dialogue,
words longing for one another.
Two languages stream like songs,
chiming from the deep.

Sometimes it’s a dream
I walk into yours,
and find you waiting,
then you lead me
through each door
with your own key


© Anna Yin